Friday, January 8, 2010

Wasabi Pea Encrusted Tuna Steaks

I don't have a whole lot to say about this except that I think it was the best salad I've ever made. And I have made a LOT of salads, many of them showcased right here on this blog. This one is so pretty and fancy that you'd have to pay close to $20 to get this in a restaurant. The sad thing is, most restaurants just don't make salads up to my standards (exception: Nicoise at Barbette), so I'm stuck inventing new ones at home! Not that much of a hardship, though!

If you are one of those people freaked out by raw tuna, that's OK. I won't judge you for your food dislikes (I have my own!). The great part is that this wasabi pea crust would probably work just as well on chicken cutlets or even tofu. Have you tried wasabi peas? They're dried green peas with a coating of spicy Japanese horseradish (wasabi). They are available in big inexpensive bags at Bill's Imported Foods in Uptown Minneapolis.

So, all you do is coat some sushi-grade tuna steaks in the ground peas and pan fry them for about 2-3 minutes on each side in a non-stick skillet with a tiny bit of olive oil. The crust gets perfectly crunchy and the inside of the tuna was still perfectly pink and rare, just the way I like it! I thought the wasabi peas would make the tuna spicy, but after cooking the heat was totally mellowed out.

I sliced up the tuna steaks and layered them on top of greens, avocado, edamame beans, red peppers, and carrots. Lots of beautiful colors!

The dressing was perfect. Not too spicy, tangy, or sweet, it had the right balance of asian flavors to complement the tuna without overpowering it. I have a bunch of this dressing left over that I'm excited to use with some cabbage to make a little asian coleslaw. I also think this dressing would be an awesome marinade for chicken before grilling.

Wasabi Pea Encrusted Tuna Steaks with Asian Vinaigrette
1 cup wasabi peas
Sushi grade tuna steaks, about 1 inch thick
olive oil
mixed salad greens
avocado, diced
red pepper, diced
carrots, shredded or diced
edamame beans, shelled and defrosted

Blitz wasabi peas in food processor until they form a nice sandy texture. Pour mixture on to a plate and coat tuna steaks in it. Drizzle steaks with a little olive oil and sear in a hot skillet for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until it reaches your desired doneness.

Slice tuna steaks and layer on top of greens and veggies. Top with vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste.

Asian Vinaigrette
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk all ingredients in bowl or shake in mason jar.


  1. Ali, this sounds AMAZING! I am just making a list for the grocery store and now am adding the ingredients for this salad to the list.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. This was absolutely amazing! I left out the carrots, red pepper, and edamame because I didn't have any on hand but didn't miss it at all. "Restaurant quality" as my fiancé called it :)

    1. That's so great, Jessie! Thanks for reading and commenting!